Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

ASK LAMBDA LEGAL: HIV disclosure
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Scott Schoettes
2013-05-21

This article shared 2917 times since Tue May 21, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Q: I was online and reading about people getting prosecuted for having sex because they didn't tell their partner they had HIV. What are the realities behind HIV-status disclosure and the law?

A: As Lambda Legal continues to work on repealing HIV criminalization laws, we frequently see comments on blogs and our social media posts about disclosure, and some people believe that people living with HIV should be required to disclose their status before having sex, and that the failure to do so should land them in jail.

Perhaps people who say "just disclose" do not realize the difficulties—and sometimes outright danger—involved in disclosure. We know from experience that disclosure does not necessarily prevent prosecution and conviction under these laws—it is up to the HIV-positive person to prove that s/he disclosed—and every one of these sexual situations is "he said, s/he said."

What we really need to do is create an environment in which people with HIV feel safe to disclose this information voluntarily to their sexual partners. HIV criminalization laws do nothing to foster that environment—and, in fact, contribute to greater reluctance to disclose. If people living with HIV are subject to criminal sanctions usually reserved for much more egregious offenses, then that could lead them to shut down and avoid disclosure of their status in an effort to avoid being made the target of one of these prosecutions. We have a long way to go before we will have reduced the stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV to a level at which people will begin to feel safe disclosing or being open about their status.

In the meantime, we all must recognize that choosing to have sex presents certain risks, and we all control the degree of risk with which we are comfortable. If your tolerance for risk is zero, then you shouldn't have sex with anyone—period. If your tolerance for risk is just above that, then you should only have protected sex within a long-term, committed relationship where the parties involved have been tested and shared the results. And you can keep moving up the scale of risk tolerance/sexual interaction from there. Trying to remain HIV negative by relying on another person to tell you their status —well, that plan is just designed for failure.

From a public health perspective, the current system of criminal laws and prosecutions doesn't make any sense—it doesn't encourage the behavior we want nor discourage the behavior we do not want. We should stop expecting people living with HIV to take sole responsibility for preventing the spread of HIV. Now that we know how to treat HIV and how to prevent its further spread, we need to focus on creating an environment in which people don't feel ashamed, stigmatized or targeted based on their status, and that is what HIV criminalization laws do.

If you are living with HIV, and are looking for resources in your state, call Lambda Legal's Help Desk at 866-542-8336, or see http://lambdalegal.org/help.

Scott Schoettes is HIV project director for Lambda Legal.


This article shared 2917 times since Tue May 21, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Proceeds from 30th Annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago to help 26 HIV/AIDS organizations
2021-09-22
--From a press release - CHICAGO — On Saturday, Oct. 2, at 9:30 a.m., more than 1,700 advocates and supporters will gather safely at Soldier Field to participate in the 30th annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago (ARWC) to support individuals ...


Gay News

Black Leadership Advocacy Coalition for Healthcare Funding Equity (BLACHFE) launches
2021-09-22
--From a press release - CHICAGO IL — September 20, 2021 — Eleven African-American-led organizations have united to form the Black Leadership Advocacy Coalition for Healthcare Funding Equity (BLACHFE). The purpose of BLACHFE is to ...


Gay News

COVID California, Puerto Rico off Chicago's travel advisory list; others return
2021-09-21
On Sept. 22, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) took one state and one territory—California and Puerto Rico—off its weekly COVID-19 Travel Advisory, while Connecticut and the District of Columbia returned to the advisory. The ...


Gay News

LGBTQ blood donation discrimination assessed, PULSE shootings cited
2021-09-21
--From a press release - Chicago, Ill. — Last week, Reps. Mike Quigley (IL-05), Val B. Demings (FL-10), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Adam B. Schiff (CA-28), Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Ritchie Torres (NY-15) received a ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Carl Bean dies, LGBT History Month, military events, Dykes on Bikes
2021-09-19
Archbishop Carl Bean—an openly gay former Motown singer, longtime AIDS activist and leader in the LGBTQ church movement—died at age 77, The New York Daily News reported. In a statement entitled "The Giant Sleeps," the Unity ...


Gay News

Patrick J. Kennedy to receive award from Trilogy at virtual gala
2021-09-18
Chicago-based Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare will present its Partner in Recovery Award to The Kennedy Forum founder, mental-health advocate and former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy as a part of its virtual 50th-anniversary gala on Thursday, Oct. 21. ...


Gay News

HHS awards $48M to health centers to expand HIV prevention, treatment
2021-09-16
On Sept. 16, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded more than $48 million to 271 HRSA-supported health centers across 26 states, Puerto Rico and ...


Gay News

National groups kick off #BiWeek to celebrate bisexuality+ visibility
2021-09-16
Sept. 16 marks the start of #BiWeek, an annual digital campaign to accelerate acceptance for the bisexual+ (bi, pansexual, fluid, queer, unlabeled, etc.) community, according to a joint press release from the organizations The Bisexual Resource ...


Gay News

COVID Southern Illinois reports it has zero ICU beds available
2021-09-15
Amid a COVID-19 surge, Illinois' southern region reported Sept. 13-14 that it ran out of intensive care unit (ICU) beds—which has delayed surgeries and resulted in longer waits for appropriate care, The Chicago Tribune reported. In ...


Gay News

Howard Brown hosting Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium on Sept. 29-30
2021-09-15
Howard Brown Health will host its 2021 Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium in a virtual format Sept. 29-30. The conference, presented by the Howard Brown Health Center for Education, Research and ...


Gay News

COVID Connecticut, D.C., removed from Chicago's travel advisory
2021-09-14
On Sept. 14, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) took one state—Connecticut—and the District of Columbia off its weekly COVID-19 travel advisory. The advisory now includes 48 states and three territories, as daily COVID case ...


Gay News

Men Having Babies surrogacy conference on Oct. 9
2021-09-13
The Men Having Babies 2021 Midwest Surrogacy Conference & Expo will take place Saturday, Oct. 9, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. According to a press statement, more than 100 (vaccinated!) ...


Gay News

SAVOR Sunny Bowls
2021-09-11
Looking for a comforting, healthful option for lunch? Then look no further than Sunny Bowls: Souper Food (theMart, #201.; https://sunnybowls.com/), which specializes in various soups? Part of the food court at theMART (which some also call ...


Gay News

COVID Chicago's travel advisory now includes all states outside Illinois
2021-09-08
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), on Sept. 8, added one state—Vermont—to its weekly COVID-19 travel advisory. The advisory now includes every state and territory in the country, as COVID continues to surge across the ...


Gay News

New safety precautions announced for 30th annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago Oct. 2
2021-09-08
--From a press release - CHICAGO — AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) has announced proof of full vaccination or negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of event will be required for all in-person participants for the 30th annual AIDS Run & ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.